HAIDER ACKERMANN: COMING UP VELVET
The collection: As usual, the Colombian designer was concise in his offering. Fall/winter 2016 saw low-slung skinny trousers, jewel-tone velvets, and structured tailoring stream down his runway. The standout pieces were without a doubt the rakish velvet suits — cut with plunging necklines and worn without a stitch underneath (looks 8 & 9). Hot.
I spy: A high-necked floor-length outer in blood-red lush velvet, styled like a cape — fit for a modern day Bela Lugosi.
Something you might have missed: The ruffles affixed to sides of jumpers in looks 28 and 32. A break-off from the rest of the collection that's sculptural in its experimentation (for example, looks 11 & 12), it was a design detail that Ackermann could've better intergrated into a different season.
ACNE STUDIOS: RAVING PSYCHOBILLY
The inspiration: Garage punk band, The Cramps. Specifically, Poison Ivy and the late Lux Interior. The music group's energy in a nutshell? An intoxicating blend that's psychedelic, provocative and powerful.
The collection: A smorgasbord of madcap punk influences, held together by the glue that is designer Jonny Johansson's brilliance in marrying the unorthodox. The design visionary brought the slick patent leathers, metallic bodysuits and general wackiness of psychobilly onto his runway, but not without giving it the customary Swede treatment. Patent bodysuits were obscured by deconstructed puffers (look 2); leather thigh-high boots cut loose and anchored by marl-grey socks (look 8); and animal print, stripped of low-rent connotations, by virtue of cut and silhouette (looks 18 & 22).
Favourite looks: The off-shoulder tangerine puffer (look 10), patent striped glitter mini (look 14) and fire engine red all-weather Mac — most likely to be picked up by stylist and street style star Veronika Heilbrunner, and rocked with unparalled lashings of attitude.
VIVIENNE WESTWOOD: MEGA MASH-UP
The collection: Andreas Kronthaler — the designer and Madame Vivienne's husband — showed his first official collection for the brand this fall/winter 2016, and it was tough to keep our finger on the pulse to say the least. Apart from the palpable nod to Tibetan Buddhism that manifested in a range of aubergine, saffron and brick red hued draping (looks 5, 6, & 23), we wondered where Kronthaler's head was at. Why was the model in look 8 wearing a sombrero? And what about the tights and boots à la King Arthur in look 13? Did a runaway bride mate with The Golden Girls in look 26? And look 37 — Yeezy might take that golden puffer to the slopes in his pre-Kim K days.
Saving grace: The short but sweet medley of plaid and florals (looks 15 & 27). With the artfully boxy suit jacket and asymmetrical coat dress, we almost overlooked the indiscriminate '80s power woman in look 33.
Settling in: As confusing as it might be, Kronthaler presented the fall outing in true Westwood mania. Perhaps with time, fully at the helm, the designer might master the skillful madness that carried the previous seasons.
COMME DES GARÇONS: MODERN WARFARE
The collection: Gone was the intricate balance of gilded Fitzgeraldian glamour and vulnerability of spring/summer 2016, and in its place, a warrior-like hardiness by way of armadillo armour. Rei Kawakubo's usual poetic sculptures were decidedly fierce this season. Stiff leather and brocade were the choice fabrics, pieced together in a manner that delivered hard lines and an all round tough-as-nails demeanor.
Almost regal: Check out the floral onesie fitted with a burgundy shell (look 13). Combined with the gravity defying hair 'do reminiscent of the Japanese emperor's hat, it almost stirred a sense of camaraderie — the hallmark of Kawakubo's talent. That is, instilling emotions.
Favourite look: Look 1, an amalgamation of the designer's current headspace and her beloved artistry. The meandering petals offered up an undercurrent of fluidity, despite the ensemble's chunky silhouette.
NINA RICCI: SEDUCTIVE SIREN
The collection: Creative director Guillaume Henry has finally envisioned his own version of the Nina Ricci woman since his debut for the brand last year during fall/winter 2015. This season, it was a lession in the subtle art of seduction: A sequined slip dress worn under a evocatively shiny Mackintosh (look 5); a floral printed satin dress paired with a matching coat in patent leather (look 14); and a sheer lace dress with sequinned skirting (look 18). Proof that sophistication and sensual allure don't have to be mutually exclusive.
High shine: The feminine silhouettes may be simple, but it was the choice of materials that elevated each and every look. Think: Shiny satin, shimmering sequins, glossy patent leather and high sheen organza. For the ladies looking for a dramatic entrance that's ladylike, this collection is for you.
Buro loves: The thigh high slit skirt (look 30) and slip dress (look 41) dripping in sequins. Two words: Cocktail ready. Remember to complete the look with sheer stockings and sexy heels.
For all coverage of Paris Fashion Week fall/winter 2016, click here.